The number one rule of responsible consumerism: know more about what you’re buying than the guy selling it to you. But it’s a counterintuitive one. After all, you buy based on someone’s pitch to you, that you need what he’s selling. You get something repaired with the understanding that you don’t have the knowledge to fix a problem yourself. But it’s the number one rule of consumerism for a reason: you just can’t trust the guy taking your money to be honest.
And here’s a reminder why. We got a great email from an ex Best Buy Geek Squad service department member, who confesses to having gouged customers time and time again for trivial repairs. Why? Essentially, because if he didn’t, he faced immediate termination.
Our Ex-Geek-Squad mole is repentant. Best Buy? Not at all. The email, after the jump.
In response to the video segment “Jiffy Lube Scam Revealed (Again)” I would like to point out that the Best Buy / Geek Squad service departments are guilty of the exact same offense.
I was originally hired in October 2003 and later ended my employment in April 2006 working as a Geek Squad part-time employee than the Geek Squad Senior and later as just a full-time Geek Squad employee. During my employment practices of the Geek Squad grew far more deceptive even enough to the point where I was embarrassed to be an employee and didn’t want to put that employment on my resume.
As a Geek Squad employee you are expected to meet certain budgets regardless of hours worked and complete x number of units in a day or risk immediate termination. In order to meet the budgets I constantly found that my coworkers, my senior(s), my managers and I regret to admit myself were deceiving customers. Often times I would review tickets and find that units were being checked in that suffered only from minor Windows problems that might take less than 30 minutes to complete however on the ticket they were charged for an OS repair, malware removal and tune-up which at the time cost $118. The units often only had one tracking cookie or some temp files and there was no sign of a malware problem and no need for a tune-up.
I also found that many of my co-workers would intentionally remove the customer’s anti-virus or tell that customer that in order for us to guarantee the work completed our anti-virus had to be installed. In addition to trapping many people with the threats of stolen data and virus infections causing further damage we were instructed by our managers to specifically target older customers, first time computer owners and the lesser educated.
In addition to meeting budget goals we were expected to meet total turn times of less than 24 hours and often far more units were checked in than could be completed in 24 hours. As many computer technicians know completing a malware removal takes more than 24 hours just for scans. In order to meet turn times of less than 24 hours we were told to complete work quickly, not double check our work and not complete full scans. I would say that maybe 1 outta 10 computers were completed correctly and more than half the units came back with the exact same problems more than once.
Geek Squad is guilty of many of the same infractions that plagued Jiffy Lube. As a loyal Consumerist follower I feel that I need to repay many of the favors / warnings that Consumerist has helped me with. I would be happy to provide you with any more information you need.